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7 Reasons Why You Need to Get The Dark Base Pro 900

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We chose the Dark Base Pro 900 as our case for our ultimate Entrepreneur’s Custom Gaming/Work PC. Most entrepreneurs nowadays aren’t buying computers anymore due to the high cost of buying a laptop/work station every 2-3 years. Technology is fast moving and entrepreneurs are seeking to build their own Work/Play Rig. When building your own PC, one of the most important components is the Case. A poorly made case can make your space look unsightly, reduce the life and performance of your internal components, and also be loud and annoying to operate. And that’s why the Dark Base Pro 900 caught our attention. The company behind the Dark base 900 Pro is be quiet!…take a guess what they focus on. Be quiet! is a premium brand manufacturer of power supplies and cooling solutions based in Germany. This case is part of complete build that we will be finishing up within the next couple of months. We’re building the ultimate Work/Gaming PC for entrepreneurs and startup founders. And after months of research, we’d like to present you the 7 reasons why we chose the Dark Base Pro 900 .

1. Beautiful Design

First and foremost, we chose the case because it has a timeless look. It’s not too flashy, too edgy, or too over-the-top with all the curves and lines you’d find in other cases. The beauty is subtle and controlled. Our first impression of the case is one of awe and admiration. We reviewed it in our conference room and our staff constantly peaked in to see what we’re reviewing. You can choose between Orange, Silver, or Black trim. We chose the orange trim. It’s a full tower case featuring brushed aluminum & ABS casing all around, and 4mm thick tempered glass side panel. Coming in at 14.39kg without parts inside and measuring at 577mm deep, 243mm wide and 585mm tall, it’s definitely not a case you can easily move around. But then again it wasn’t designed to be portable.

 

We also appreciated the subtle and tastefully branding placed on the metal side of the case and in front. The orange outline is a solid color and doesn’t glow, which we don’t mind. The case does come with RGB lighting kit and it’s relatively easy to install.

When placed on a desk presents a timeless beauty that doesn’t beg to be noticed.

2. Functionality

We needed a case that was going functioned as well as it looks. Below are some attractive features of this case that sold us.

Good ventilation: It’s a highly breathable design with ventilation mesh surrounding the entire casing on both sides ensuring abundant airflow.

Motherboards Compatibility: The Dark Base Pro 900 (and even non-pro version) is compatible with a wide range of motherboards. You’ll be able to fit XL-ATX, E-ATX, ATX, Mini-ITX, and even Micro-ATX motherboards. We like to keep our options open when it comes to motherboards.

Front Ports: On top you have the  I/O  button with 2 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, and HD audio jacks. Your Audio and Microphone ports are in front and easily accessible instead of having to plug from the rear. We wish it included a USB-C port, but it’s not a deal breaker.

QI Charger: On the top Panel there’s a QI charger for you to place a compatible device there to charge. This is the first time we’ve ever seen this feature on a case.

Fan controller and RGB LED color switch: You can adjust the fan speed directly from the front panel and cycle through multiple color scheme of the RGB lighting. All these can be controlled without turning the computer on and going into some sort of interface.

One small aesthetic thing we didn’t like was the misalignment of the orange line (pictured below). It’s not a turn off, however would’ve been nice if it was perfectly aligned.

 

3. Cooling

No high-end machine can function for long if it wasn’t built with cooling in mind. The fans alone in this case make it worth the extra money. Instead of having to shell out money for decent fans, be quiet! includes 3 SilentWings 3 fans installed out of the box. The fans are 140mm PWM fans with a unique blade design which be quiet! claims to improve air circulation. There’s a fan in the rear and 2 fans pre-installed on the front panel. You can install an additional fan on the top deck (most likely for CPU cooler) and you can also install a single 120mm fan on the bottom. We also liked how accessible both air filters are on this case. Both can be accessed from the front panel with ease.

 

4. Build Quality

As noted above the entire construction is made from brushed aluminum, ABS, steel for internal frame, and 4mm thick tempered glass. The Dark Base Pro 900 Pro’s entire case is also lined with a fairly thick (about 4-5mm) high density sound absorbing foam that serves to reduce noise level. The front panel door is held shut by a magnet. Our complaint about this is that the magnet is awfully weak and doesn’t hold the door in securely. However the door does open and close properly.

When carrying the case around you won’t get a wobbly contorted feel of a cheaper case. It’s solidly built and stays in shape even when being manhandled a bit. Looking at the 4mm thick tempered glass gives you an idea of the attention to detail that goes into the build. A this point it probably sounds like be quiet! paid us a lot of money to toot their horn, however that is not the case. We really do enjoy reviewing and showcasing the craftsmanship that goes into building this product. The 4mm thick tempered glass is precisely beveled to ensure it doesn’t scratch or damage the case or your furniture when disassembling.

Tempered glass thickness

 

5. Attention to detail

We’ve reviewed hundreds of products and we can tell when the people who made it actually loves the product or not. And it all shows in the attention to detail that they put into designing and building it. The Dark Base Pro 900 ‘s easily removable thumbscrews for tempered glass panel, the rear, and most of the internal components are a nice touch. This makes adding/removing parts and disassembling a breeze.

The glass panel also doesn’t just sit on a metal screw. We’ve seen this in a lot of cases and it hurts our souls each time we remove and put the glass back on, knowing we’re scratching the inside ring each time. Be quiet! didn’t just put a rubber seal on top of the screw, no that’s not enough. They have the rubber seal secured in place by a plastic housing which lodges itself snuggly inside the case. From a manufacturing standpoint, they could’ve easily gotten away with a much cheaper solution. But gladly they didn’t.

And do you see the orange rubber washer protecting the case from the screw? It’s the little things that could’ve gone unnoticed, but didn’t, that truly makes a this case a product of love and care.

 

6. Carpet and Wood Friendly

Why is this even a selling point you may ask? It’s a small touch thats often overlooked and not appreciated until you see damages on your carpet, desk, or expensive wooden floor. You won’t find small pointy feet here. Nor will you find cheap plastic caps that could damage wooden table or floor. The foam inserts are glued tightly into a specifically carved cavity. This makes the feet extra secure when sliding or moving around. And the large dimension feet serves a dual purpose of protecting your flooring and providing enough clearance between the floor and the case.

 

7. Highly modular and customizable

This was one of the best selling features that sold us. The Dark Base Pro 900 was built to be highly configurable to your specifications. You can have the glass panel on either the left or the right. Inside there’s two 5.25″ drives, seven 3.5″ drives. If you’re not using 3.5 drives and instead uses 2.5 SSD, you can fit 15 SSD here. Not entirely sure why you’d ever need that much space, but it’s there. You can also remove the cages to improve circulation and fit larger 1080 GPU’s. The entire case is highly configurable and can be customized for whatever configuration you want to put inside.

 

 

Final Thoughts

The Dark Base Pro 900 Pro isn’t just a case. It’s a beautiful piece of art, an engineering beauty, and a product made to withstand the test of time. They didn’t skimp on any parts to save money. The engineering team at be quiet! did quite a lot to the case, but the one thing they didn’t do is compromise it’s quality. A few pictures can’t tell the whole story. Once you start working with the case and installing components, you start to see all the little things they did and all the details they didn’t skimp on. We’re glad we chose the Dark Base Pro 900 as our case for the build. Please stay tune for our complete build coming soon.

Top 5 GTX 1080TI GPU of 2017

5 Best Gaming Mouse for Work and Play

 

Interested in buying? Get it for $250 on Amazon.

Lifestyle

Things You Should Never Say During A Presentation

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Many people have cold feet when they are asked to present something in front of a live audience. A sales presentation is a make or break situation for the companies. An excellent presentation can bring in a lot of new prospects for the company. Similarly, a bad presentation can also sour the relationship with an eager prospect. Public speaking is intimidating, but you can avoid the common mistakes and make a mark as a public speaker. You should be calm, confident and organized during the presentation. Here are some points you should remember during a presentation

“Hello! Can everyone hear me?”

You can feel very nervous before your presentation, but do not begin with this question. It is your responsibility to check the audio, but try to arrive early to check everything. When you are speaking at a large conference hall, the chances are high that someone has already checked the audio-visual facilities. Take a deep breath and smile at the audience. Begin with full confidence.

“I’ve got a lot of information to cover, so let me get started.”

This statement can make your audience lose all interest in your presentation. People believe that longer presentations are boring. Starting with this statement assumes that it’s going to be a long boring lecture instead of a captivating presentation. If your presentation happens to be long, do the work to shorten it in advanced, and come prepared to give a more condensed presentation without losing the overall message. 

“I’ll keep it short”

This is a promise no one keeps. You should not use this statement before the presentation. Your audience comes to hear something promising and get inspired. It does not matter if your speech is long or short. When you say “I’ll keep it short”, you’re also underselling your ability to maintain your audience’s attention. 

“I did not have much time to prepare”

You should not begin your speech with an excuse. People in the audience look forward that the presentation will be a well-prepared one. They invest their time and money to be prepared for your presentation. It’s only fair that you should be prepared to present. 

Fillers

Never use the words like “Umm”, “you know” or “like” in your presentation. Your audience will assume that you are not confident about what you are saying. The fillers in your speech can distract them from the main point of the presentation. If you need to think about something, you can take a short pause in between.

“In Future, we plan to…”

Never reveal anything about the products that is still under production. Make public announcements of your new products and offers. Your audience expects detailed information of your new and ready products. If you have something exciting on the way, wait for it to actually be ready to start talking about it. 

“Avoid reading through the pages”

Do not just read aloud the pages or slides. This can turn the session dull for your audience. Try to present your points in an interesting way. You can begin with a small story or show some examples.

“I’ll get back to that later”

The audience is always eager to interact with you. They can ask many questions after your presentation. Do not avoid their questions. It leaves a bad impression on your audience. Try to answer their questions politely.

“I guess that’s it”

You should not end your presentation with this statement. Prepare your speech in such a way that it becomes obvious it is the end. Your transition to your next point should come naturally.

Make your speech fit in the given time-slot. Do not come underprepared and prolong your speech. You should not completely depend on the prepared write-ups or slides. Try to conclude it with some interesting information. Keep some time to interact with the audience, but do not get stuck with irrelevant points or questions.

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Business

Interview With The Tangent Agency CEO, Marc Becker

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Tangent Agency

Going by the motto “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you,” The Tangent Agency has worked on many large projects, including Despicable Me, X-Men, Deadpool, Fifty Shades of Grey, and many more. Leading Tangent Agency is their CEO, Marc Becker. He comes with 7 years of experience as an Executive in the Global Brand Marketing team at Universal Pictures. Working closely with filmmakers, stakeholders, and brands, he helped develop campaigns for films across NBCU/Comcast platforms. Marc joined Tangent after using them as a trusted vendor while at Universal and now oversees business operations working for a creative powerhouse. The Tangent Agency brings big ideas to life by creating innovative content for their partners.

Marc granted us an interview to give us some insight on business and offered advice for those looking to advance their careers. He tells us about their new leadership team and how AR and VR is having a moment.

 

What is your day like as a CEO?

When you’re running a company, you have to a wear a ton of hats. I always joke that I should change my business cards to read “Janitor to CEO” because that’s really what I have to be. On a typical day we’ll have a team check-in to talk about priorities followed by picking what music or movie we should put on in the background. My music is usually vetoed so our CSO, Daniel, has been on DJ duty for the last couple months. From there, I’m usually joining calls with partners ensuring we’re clear on all their objectives and deliverables. In addition to the account management side of things I’ll work with the team on brainstorms for ideation and reviewing material before it’s sent out to the partners. Another big part of my day is usually working on business development whether it’s chatting with partners/collaborators or potential clients who could use our services. I’m also a big proponent of mentorship and sharing my experiences whenever possible, so I NEVER turn down an informational interview – I tend to do them pretty often. It sounds very business school-y, but now that we’ve hired a couple more members of the team, I’m looking forward to working more ON the business instead of IN the business, which will enable us to scale a little faster.

What makes Tangent Agency different from other agencies?

At Universal, I used to hire nearly every agency under the sun. At Tangent, we are both a creative partner and thought partner, and all our strategy is insight-driven. We work with some of the biggest brands and on the biggest franchises, consistently delivering the quality and the marketing product you’d expect from a major creative agency, but also offer some unique capabilities like Strategic Sales Materials, Franchise Development, and Mythology. Our partners turn to our design team to develop a visual identity for their properties bringing their brands to life. Just as importantly, Tangent leads the way in deciphering data and creating a compelling story to pitch the property, often from scratch. Franchise development, while a critical storytelling and brand development device, is still a largely untapped part of entertainment marketing, and Tangent’s team is some of the best in this field. By breaking down the complex nuances of your favorite films and television shows, the process of mythology provides an avenue and a lens into the backstories of the characters and plot points to help our clients develop endlessly engaging story universes. The Tangent creative team has been both on the agency side and the client side and are truly some of the best in the business. I continue to be inspired by them on a daily basis.

What are some of the best projects you’ve worked on?

We’re proud of all our projects and they each present their own unique challenges and opportunities.  We like to say we’ve worked on everything from My Little Pony to Straight Outta Compton.  I find it exciting to work on independent films and Academy fare projects as well as the big global blockbuster franchises like the X-Men or Jurassic World.  Our resident super-geek and CSO, Daniel Barber, loves all things sci-fi and superheroes so I’m sure he’d say Deadpool 2, Logan, and Speilberg’s Ready Player One are a few he’d cite. On a personal level, it’s been special to be working on some of the Universal properties such as Despicable Me and Fast & Furious.  We’re under NDA so I can’t say exactly what we’re doing on the projects, but I spent so many years at Universal working internally with the brilliant filmmakers and collaborating with my old team and everyone around NBCU to help manage those brands, it’s fun to continue to work on them in this new capacity.

Who are some influencers that you admire?

I’ve always been a fan of the humble way of life Warren Buffet continues to maintain. Bill Gates has not only built an incredible empire and wealth, but continues to baffle me with his work through the foundation and his charitable contributions. Zuckerberg seems to be following in the footsteps of Gates, and I admire his commitment to making the world a better place. Sheryl Sandberg has become a voice of a generation of women and I appreciate the work she’s done to help break the glass ceiling. I know I’m leaving a bunch of people off, but I think you can gather the overall trend – successful people that seek to make a difference in the world.

What advice has helped you the most throughout your career?

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have mentors champion me throughout my career and sprinkle many insightful gems of advice throughout the years. One piece of advice that has always stuck with me is from my old boss, mentor and friend David O’Connor, who runs Brand Marketing at Universal. He always used to say “don’t be afraid to ask questions.” Too many people let their egos get in the way of being inquisitive for fear that they will be perceived as unintelligent or ignorant. It’s important to be strategic about asking questions and know when it’s appropriate and when questions should be taken off-line, but I’ve found it incredibly valuable to “be real” and honest with the people around me in both my personal and professional life. If I don’t know something, I ask and I remember, and then I have the knowledge going forward. If there’s something that isn’t my strength, for example graphic design, I can leave the work to the experts and allow people around me to shine.

What are some business tips you can give to startups?

Don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none. Know what you’re good at and be the best at it. Or don’t be the best at it, just make sure you know what your value proposition is. In regards to people looking to launch a startup, I can’t tell you how many times entrepreneurs, friends, peers, etc. come to me with a business idea they “can’t tell me about.” Odds are, the idea isn’t an original idea and someone else has thought of it – it’s all about execution. You absolutely want to do your homework and discovery, but too many people suffer from analysis paralysis and never pull the trigger. The only way to make things happen is to actually execute. If something isn’t working, don’t let ego get in the way of being flexible, and don’t be afraid to make a pivot.

Another tip is to always consider the end user. These fans are real people who are passionate about whatever brand/product you’re selling. In today’s world with social media being what it is, everyone can vocalize their opinion and has a pulpit by which to express it. Whether you’re marketing a multi-billion dollar blockbuster franchise or selling from a lemonade stand, it’s important to consider your customers.

What are some recent company milestones for The Tangent Agency?

We rebranded and restructured the company 18 months ago with a new leadership team: Ben Taylor (CCO), Daniel Barber (CSO), Mat Guillen (Art Director), and myself as CEO. We just completed our first year with the refreshed company and have seen incredible results and continued growth. Another recent milestone is we’ve expanded our Experiential, AV, and Digital capabilities.

What will make this year better than last year?

We’ve carved out a great niche for ourselves as one of the industry’s best kept secrets, working a lot behind the scenes. This year, we’re excited about becoming a bigger player in the experiential world and working on more consumer facing materials. It’s only January and we’re already having productive conversations with some of the leading content creators and key players in new technologies such as VR and AR. TV and Interactive Gaming are both having big moments, and we are excited about the opportunities for Tangent to collaborate in both areas. We’re looking forward to expanding our relationships with existing partners and working with new ones.  

 

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Business

How You Know A Co-Working Space Is For You

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co-working space

Working at home is one of the best reasons to become a freelancer. However, there are people who work better when they need to get up and get dressed or when they are surrounded by co-workers. A group of people doing different jobs but working together in the same space is called co-working. Here are some ways to determine whether it’s time to look for a co-working space.  

You’re Not Getting Work Done

Working from home is great but only if you get work done. This is perhaps the obvious sign that you need to find a co-working space. If you’re snacking every 15 minutes or you spend lots of time on social media instead of getting work done, you seriously need to consider a co-working space.

You Want Human Interaction

Humans are naturally social beings. Even if you hate some of your old co-workers, there is something about being about other people that can help you work hard throughout the day. You might not like some of your co-workers but sometimes it’s nice to have somebody to complain to or chat with every day. If you find that you’re missing water cooler chats or if chat messaging is not enough, perhaps it’s time to look for a co-working space.

Your House Is Distracting

Your house has a bed, a TV, a fridge full of food and maybe your kids. All of these can be distracting especially if your kids need attention or if there’s noisy construction nearby or when a telemarketer calls. Distractions also keep you from focusing on work and getting it done in a timely manner.

You Need To Meet Clients

Yes you house is cozy and warm, but is it really an ideal place to meet clients? What if your home is a studio apartment? Is there enough space for all of them to discuss matters comfortably? Co-working spaces have common areas like conference room where meetings can take place in a more professional atmosphere.

You Need Space

There are just some types of work where you need a big space. You might need lots of light, big windows or a big table or space for bulky equipment. Not all co-working spaces are big, but there might be something that can accommodate your need for bigger space.

You Need To Get Out Of Your PJs

If you haven’t changed out of your pajamas for a couple of days, perhaps you need to look for a co-working space. Changing into something more professional could help you focus and become more productive.

You Need A Central Location

Your house could be out in the suburbs or somewhere not accessible to public transportation which can create logistics problem not only if you’re meeting clients in their offices but for supplies deliveries too. A central location – which some co-working places have – is not only convenient to clients but for other matters too.

You Need To Grow Your Business

A home business is fine if you only have 1 or 2 employees. But what happens when you need to scale up and need more space? A co-working space can give you the flexibility to scale up or down depending on your needs. Depending on the co-working space, it can be for a small 1-man team or a 10-person team with access to a conference room.

Networking

When you’re in a co-working space, you are surrounded with other goal-oriented people. This is a good opportunity to network with them, learn their business or share thoughts. Having access to people in different industries can open new doors of opportunities.

You Need Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is important but it can be hard to achieve for some people when you work from home. Chores, children and distractions make it hard to focus on work so it creates an imbalance by making it hard for you to work. When you’re in a co-working space, you can forget about your house for a while to focus work. However, you still have the freedom to attend to your child’s PTA, go to the gym or pick up your dry cleaning.

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